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Do I Talk Too Much?

I’m a big believer in the idea that everyone is selling at all times. Be it the assistant, field or administrative staff or officers of a company, when we interact with others (even electronically these days) we are selling on many levels.

I’m particularly surprised when I deal with salespeople trying to sell me something who never stop talking. It’s a major turnoff, plus that salesperson and I usually part ways with a big “NO SALE”.

Why do salespeople over-vocalize? I think one of the main reasons is that they subconsciously (or consciously) believe the client won’t reject them if they are talking. We all hate rejection but using your mouth as a bullhorn will likely increase the chances of rejection, not avoid it. Of course, there are many other reasons for salespeople talking too much: not being prepared, egotism, nervousness or just a lack of sales skill … but I digress.

Even in our day to day personal lives, we are selling ourselves to friends, neighbors and everyone we communicate with on an ongoing basis. We all know the “never shuts up” individual who everyone runs from at social events. Why? Because people rarely want to hear people who love to hear themselves talk.

We have all heard the quote from the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. The best tool any of us has (I have to remind myself daily) to sell ourselves, gain someone’s trust or make a friend is to listen, and listen carefully.

Learn how to ask questions of others, be inquisitive about their lives, and in business find out their needs. Remind yourself to ask insightful questions, encourage others to talk and then listen. Don’t ask questions just for the sake of asking questions as everyone can usually sense insincerity. If you are sincere, it makes them know that they are important to you, which will usually lead to a great conversation.

When we master the skill of listening, we become more likable, we sell ourselves and most importantly, people want to talk to us. When people want to talk to us, the doors of opportunity fling wide open on many levels. 

Mike Popowski is President of PBI Restorations.  If you want to talk, he's listening: mike@pbirestores.com.